After a Ukrainian immigrant, working as a daycare provider, hanged a toddler from a noose, she fled when a dad caught her. Then, she hit three people with her van, including a pregnant woman. But, a judge has set her free. When you hear the court’s lame excuse, you’ll understand why people gasped in horror. Is this justice?
Nataliia Karia, a 43-year-old immigrant from Ukraine who provided daycare out of her Minneapolis home, was facing a slew of charges, including attempted murder, third-degree assault, and criminal vehicular operation for hitting a pedestrian, a bicyclist, and another driver as she fled from her home. What’s worse, the woman was fleeing because she had been caught doing the unthinkable to a child in her care.
As Joseph Sabir arrived to drop off his child at Karia’s home, the daycare provider told him she had “done something bad.” He then heard a baby crying and ran downstairs. You can imagine his horror to find a toddler hanging from a noose, fashioned from girl’s tights and tied to an overhead pipe, in Karia’s basement. As Sabir released the child, a 16-month-old boy who luckily survived, Karia fled in her vehicle.
During her attempt at a hasty escape in her minivan, the crazed woman struck bicyclist Jacob Carrigan, who was on his way to work. Carrigan later needed a rod inserted in his leg to avoid amputation, the Star Tribune reported. She also dragged another motorist 10 blocks when the driver, later identified as Salvador Lema, got out to check the damage to his vehicle after Karia struck his car.
Sadly, Karia wasn’t done wreaking havoc. She went on to hit a vehicle driven by a pregnant woman before pulling over and threatening to jump off an overpass. Despite the suicidal threat, passersby held her down until police could take her into custody. The now-former daycare provider eventually pleaded guilty to all the charges against her after her crazed crime spree. But, this is where the story gets truly infuriating.
Nataliia Karia was let off the hook by a sympathetic judge. During the two-hour hearing, Karia recounted how her husband repeatedly abused, assaulted, and threatened to kill her after they came to the United States from Ukraine in 2006, AOL News reported. Yet, she seemingly defended her abuser in court. “I don’t want to push this terrible crime onto my husband,” she said in Russian. “I just want to explain what happened. Your Honor, my children need me … Give me a chance to resume a normal life.”
“We came in here with our hearts in our throats,” defense lawyer Brockton Hunter said, but it looks like their worry was unnecessary. Citing a “perfect storm of factors unlikely to ever be repeated” as an excuse, Hennepin County District Judge Jay Quam only sentenced the woman, who hanged a toddler in her care by a noose in her home then hit three people with her vehicle, to probation.
Karia, who spent 20 months in jail, will get credit for her time already served. Avoiding any additional prison time, she was instead given 10-years probation after agreeing with doctors that she was a “low risk” to commit more crimes. What’s worse, she will only be required to be on electronic home monitoring for a mere two months at most.
Although she was ordered to undergo court-ordered mental health treatment and is not allowed to have unsupervised contact with minors, including her own daughters, ages 2, 7, and 10, Prosecutor Christina Warren expressed doubts that Karia can receive the supervision she needs. As a result of those concerns, the prosecutor begged the court for a 13-year-prison sentence — a plea Judge Quam obviously ignored.
In the court filing, Warren wrote, “Instead of being the person most able and willing to protect [the boy] from harm, she … left him hanging by a noose around his neck in her basement.” Indeed, that certainly doesn’t sound like someone who should only get a slap on the wrist. What happens when the next so-called storm hits? That’s life; it’s full of storms. Although the next one might be different than this one, there will be more ups and downs.
What precedence does this set? When life gets tough, you can take it out on an innocent toddler, according to this judge. Once again, our courts have coddled a criminal instead of dishing out justice and protecting the innocent. What a disgusting shame Judge Quam turned our court system into with this infuriating ruling. It’s time we let any criminal-coddling judges in our justice system know that this is not what we, as tax-payers, pay them to do.